As we approach El Dia de Los Muertos, The Day of The Dead, in the U.S.A. it is not without notice that this celebration has started to become part of the mainstream consciousness of Americans without any substance or understanding of what it is and why it is culturally important. In some cases, because people are not educated about this sacred event they have gone to calling it the Mexican Halloween, just as many think Cinco de Mayo is the Mexican Independence Day.
El Dia de Los Muertos is a sacred part of the lives of the descendants of the indigenous people of Mesoamerica with deep family, faith, and spiritual ties to who we are as a people.
With the release of Coco by Disney and the more commercial availability of the traditional images on plates, blankets, pillows in all commercial stores from the bargain stores to high end retailers, it is easy for it to become another reason to dress up, throw parties and never really fulfill the purpose of this day of remembrance.
This rich tradition is more than 3000 years old at our best guess and has survived over 500 years of colonization. It was moved to the days of November 1st and 2nd all saints day from what was a month-long celebration originally done in September by the Catholic church for the purpose of converting the people of Mesoamerica.
It is important as the descendants of the Mesoamerican people that we educate ourselves and in turn educate others on this tradition of honoring our ancestors. Each and every part of an Altar, the food, flowers, candy, and painting our faces as skeletons have a beautiful reason behind it. The purpose of El Dia De Los Muertos is not to throw parties and have festivals for the sake of having them it is to honor your loved ones and know that death is not to be feared but celebrated as the start of the next journey after this one.
It is up to the children of the Mesoamerican people to preserve our heritage and to share it with others in all its beauty.
For everyone from any culture or tradition, protect what your ancestors have passed down to you, keep its purity and educate those who wish to learn and honor your traditions alongside you. Never turn away an open heart and never hide how rich your culture is.